The second fight on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 149 featured another contest in the welterweight division. Brian Ebersole took his 50-14 professional record inside the Octagon for the fifth time and was hoping to remain undefeated in the promotion and hoping for his 12th straight win. The man looking to change that was the 8-2 James Head. Head was 1-1 in the UFC coming into the fight and was most recently seen defeating Papy Abedi with a Rear-Naked Choke.
Ebersole immediately shot in for a takedown, but a nice sprawl from Head prevented anything. Head then landed several nice knees from the clinch before backing away from Ebersole. Head continued to show great striking skills as Ebersole seemed unable to connect with any serious offense. Ebersole continued to attempt takedowns and was caught in a Guillotine Choke, which Ebersole got out of (big surprise, I know). With about 30 seconds left, Ebersole went for his infamous cartwheel kick, which led to Head finishing the round on top.
My scorecard: Head 10-9
Ebersole immediately shot in to start the round, again leaving his neck vulnerable. Once standing, both men looked tentative as they exchanged strikes. Midway through the round, both fighters began to land better strikes and Ebersole continued to strike from weird angles. With a minute left, Ebersole finally got on top of Head on the mat, but was unable to garner any offense and had the position reversed with a butterfly sweep to finish the round,
My scorecard: Head 10-9
The third round had a slow start with neither fighter looking like they wanted the win. With three minutes left in the fight, Head got a takedown, but was unable to get into a great position. The rest of the round went the same way with Ebersole shooting for a takedown and Head blocking the attempts. The round ended with Ebersole on top in side control after Head surprisingly went for a submission and wound up in a bad position.
My scorecard: Head 10-9, overall to Head 30-27
I could see all the rounds going either way, but for me, it was Head and his defense that should get him the win.
Official Decision: James Head via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.